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8.2: The objective of marketing communication

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    • Contributed by John Burnett
    • Sourced from Global Text Project

    The basic objectives of marketing communication have been reduced to three more meaningful directives: (a) to communicate, (b) to compete, and (c) to convince. The primary purpose of MC is to communicate ideas to target audiences. This is done through advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and/or public relations. Principles of effective communication are intended to achieve this task. Clearly, most of marketing is communications, and it is in this context that communication is included as a purpose of MC. Moreover, whatever is communicated should be accurate, truthful, and useful to the parties involved. Because of the pervasiveness of marketing communication, it has a unique responsibility to communicate with integrity.

    Helping the company to compete consistently and effectively in the marketplace is the second objective. For many companies, MC may offer the company its most promising marketing opportunities. Competitors may sell essentially the same product, at the same price, in the same outlets. It is only through MC that the company may be able to appeal to certain segments, properly differentiate its product, and create a level of brand loyalty that can last for many years. In addition, the prominence of extensive communication efforts on the part of competitors means that a company that did not exhibit a strong MC program would appear dull and unconvincing to the customer. Thus, MC is employed as both a defensive and offensive weapon.

    The final objective of MC is to convince. Although this goal is most often ascribed to MC, it is the most questionable. "Convince" and "persuade" are not synonymous terms. Realistically, MC does extremely well if it presents ideas in a manner that is so convincing that the consumer will be led to take the desired action. These ideas, along with a host of other factors, will help persuade the consumer to make a particular decision. Therefore, the ability of MC to present information in a convincing manner is critical. It is also necessary to re-convince many consumers and customers. Just because a person buys a particular brand once or a dozen times, or even for a dozen years, there is no guarantee that they will not stop using the product if not constantly reminded of the product's unique benefits. Ultimately, MC objectives can be broken down into very specific tasks. The point is all MC must be guided by objectives.

    In conclusion, effective marketing communication should present useful ideas (information) in a manner that makes them clearly understood (communicate), cause the consumer to believe the message is true (convince), and is as appealing or more appealing than the message delivered by competitors (compete).